Wait… You don’t work for me?!
Most of your employees who are active on social media will list themselves under your business name. All they have to do on Facebook is “add a workplace” and link to your business page. And, all they have to do on LinkedIn is “add experience” and, again, link to your business page. It’s so easy, anyone can do it. But, that’s the problem. Because anyone can do it, it’s easy for people who don’t work for you to list you as one of you employees.
Many businesses also find that ex-employees forget or decide not to remove themselves as employees on their business pages.
What makes this even trickier is that there is no quick way to remove invalid employees from your business pages, even if you are the business owner!
Help! This person doesn’t work for me!
*Melissa, owner of a growing photography business, found out that someone she did not know was claiming to be an employee of her business on Facebook.
Her husband had searched her business name on Facebook to retrieve her website link. Under the search filter “People”, a stranger’s name came up. His profile stated that he works for Melissa’s business – and there was a link to her business page. Luckily, after Melissa commented on his profile and sent him an inbox message, he unlisted himself as an employee of her business.
Her Facebook page has been growing fast and, obviously, she doesn’t want anyone to ruin her online reputation. Imagine if the stranger took low quality photos and associated them with her business? This could have completely destroyed her reputation.
This is not an isolated event…
This has happened to many businesses all around the world. Some people have even managed to claim high positions, such as CEO and owner, of other people’s businesses. This can affect any business but it especially takes a big toll on smaller businesses and entrepreneurs who work hard to build trust with their online audience.
Can invalid employees ruin your reputation?
Some may argue that having these invalid employees linked to your business page is harmless if the person is not openly threatening or harassing anyone. Facebook may even claim that the individual is not breaching their community guidelines. However, they can still hurt your reputation.
It takes years for a business to establish a great reputation. It takes minutes for someone to damage it. Your employees represent your business. Fake employees can be a huge threat to your business, especially if they are posting negative content or scamming people and taking money that should be yours!
Please note that if someone is taking money that belongs to you by associating with your business, you can file suit for fraud if you have enough proof. This should be done with the help of an attorney.
Do you have invalid employees listed on your social platforms?
- Facebook: Search your business name. Filter the search by clicking on the “people” filter. Employees profiles will be listed.
- LinkedIn: Go to your business page. Click on the “People” tab. All employees who are linking to your business page will be listed on that page.
How do you rectify an invalid employee on Facebook?
Unfortunately, Facebook does not have a way to prevent someone from claiming they work for your business or to remove them as an employee. You can contact the invalid employee and ask him/her to remove himself/ herself as an employee on Facebook – but your request may be ignored.
Facebook lets you report a violation or infringement of your rights – either copyright or trademark; however, a lot of business owners claim that even though they followed the steps to report a problem, Facebook did not help them.
How do you rectify an invalid employee on LinkedIn?
It’s just as frustrating trying to rectify an invalid employee on LinkedIn.
Employees on your LinkedIn Company Page affiliate their work experience with your business. When members add or edit their job position on their profile, they state the company they work for.
If someone associates him/herself as your employee, their profile will show up on your company page. The information on their page is controlled by them – and not by you at all. The first step you can take is to contact the person asking them to correct the information.
You can also submit a formal complaint for an inaccurate employment listing to LinkedIn. They will (hopefully) investigate your complaint.
Transparency may be the best way to address the problem at hand. Especially seeing as though you may not be able to remove invalid employees from your business pages. Mention to your audience that there are fake employees associating with your business and list the authentic ways to contact and deal with your business.
IEDM Digital Marketing believes that the best way to build trust with your current and potential customers is by means of ethical marketing. Read our blog on ethical marketing for more information.